Interested in playing poker on a mobile device? If you're looking for table poker, many online casinos offer it, but you may need to download a poker app that's separate from the rest of the casino's games. Some of the bigger online casinos have abandoned table poker games entirely. One example is casino giant Bovada, who sold its online poker operations to Ignition Casino. Ignition, in turn, requires that you download a special app just for poker when you create an account.
Why is playing mobile poker on apps more complicated than most other casino games, and why do casinos choose not to offer it at all? It comes down to money. The only way for casinos to make money off of table poker is the “rake” on each hand, and this must be limited to keep players happy. So poker is far less profitable than other games such as slots, baccarat, and keno.
Apps make things even more complicated. Tablets and phones don't have as much horsepower as desktop and laptop computers, and table poker software is demanding due to simultaneous play and protections against cheating. Most casinos license their software, and the package may not include a “poker client” or the frontend software, or the extra amount for it may be too high.
Add all that up, and many casinos feel that table poker isn't worth the trouble. The good news is, some gaming operators decided to go in the opposite direction and specialize in poker rooms only! Examples of big names in this area who offer mobile apps include PokerStars, PartyPoker and even the World Series of Poker.
Interested in video poker? Just about all the online casinos offer it bundled with other games as part of their basic app.
Player's Guide to App and Mobile Poker
This guide will give you an overview of the different poker app options available for your mobile device, including some supplementary apps that can help to improve your game. It will also help you to get these apps up and running and determine if your device can handle them.
What Poker Apps are Available for Mobile Devices?
As mentioned, you are better off looking for specialized poker room apps that offer real money wagering, rather than looking for a poker room at an online casino. Examples of these include:
- World Series of Poker (WSOP)
- Full Tilt
- Intertops Poker
There are also some casinos that make a poker app available, or roll table poker in with their original mobile app. These include:
- 888 Casino
- Ignition Casino
You'll find more poker options for desktops and laptops than you will for mobile devices at present, but many of the major sites have an app in development.
Video poker is easy to find. It is included with just about any casino app that also offers slots.
Helpful Supplementary Apps for Poker Players
In addition to the poker room and casino apps through which you play the game, there are some other helpful mobile apps that can aid your play.
Serious table poker players track the results of all their hands and games to analyze their play to see where they are making mistakes. You can do this with a pen and paper or spreadsheets in a word processor, or you can simplify the process with a tracking app like RunGood or Poker Journal.
If you're playing private games with others or making and taking loans, it's also wise to use a debt tracking app like SplitWise designed expressly for poker play.
You also might look into a poker training app to improve your game. These tell you what the best play is mathematically for any given set of cards on a table, including how to best play a starting hand given a particular set of circumstances. Popular apps of this nature include Tournament Poker Coach and Poker Starting Hand Analyzer.
Can You Play Poker Apps on Any Mobile Device?
You'll find poker apps available for Android, iOS and Windows phones. Android has the largest range of options, followed by iOS. You'll find some native apps around for Windows phones, but if your phone is powerful enough and has the right version of the operating system, you can also consider just installing the casino's Windows desktop software on your phone.
Poker In Your Pocket With Mobile Apps
Casinos and poker rooms are aggressively tapping into the growing mobile market, and they are developing a lot of apps for the major mobile operating systems. You'll probably have better luck looking for specialty poker rooms, but there are some casinos out there that also feature poker, and any given casino will be likely to have video poker. Use additional apps to help keep records and practice, and you'll have a serious edge at the tables.